July 29, 2021

A more faithful 'Comedy': in verse, without rhyme and without 'divine' | Culture

A more faithful 'Comedy': in verse, without rhyme and without 'divine' | Culture



I longed Dante Alighieri that their songs were known on Earth and remembered in Purgatory and Paradise. And so it will continue to be, at least in Spanish, after the version of the Comedy that now launches the professor of literature and poet (and musician) José María Micó in a "readable, close and faithful" version, as summarized by Sandra Ollo, the editor of Acantilado, where, thanks to the quality of the paper ("the best that we have never used "), they have worked the miracle of fitting the three parts of the book (Hell, Purgatory Y Paradise), as well as the original Italian version, in a manageable volume of 942 pages … and with legible handwriting.

What is the new edition of one of the great classics of universal literature reaches 18 years of the last version appeared in Castilian (in translation of Abilio Echevarría, in Alliance) and is the ninth complete (at least, since modern times ) in the history of this language. But it is full of novelties, already from the title, where the epithet of divine has fallen. "Boccaccio already defined it that way shortly after appearing, but he joined the title in 1555, as an editorial marketing resource for a Venetian label; Dante left her in Comedy"Says Micó, who has spent four years in it, almost a quarter of the 15 years that the author invested in his writing.

Shadows that disappear
and they appear

The different options when translating the Comedy of Dante, seeking or not the rhyme, are appreciated in the Canto VI of the Hell, in verses 34 to 36:

"Noi passavam su per l'ombre che adona / la greve pioggia, e ponavam le piante / sopra lor vanità che person"

"We were going over those who numb / the persistent rain, the feet perched / in their illusion, that the body looks like". (Angel Crespo)

"We went over shadows downcast / by the tenacious rain while we were treading / his vanity in the form of a person". (José María Micó)

Although he did the test with some stanzas, Micó ruled out adapting the work with his original rhyme, an option that was taken, among others, by Angel Crespo in Spanish in 1973 or Josep Maria de Sagarra in Catalan in 1950, and who received so much admiration like critics: of the first, it was gotten to say that it was a "gongorina" version and that obscured the speech of Dante until making him say what it did not say to maintain the sonority, the same that the one of Sagarra. Micó has respected the famous tercetos of hendecasyllables, but not his rhyme, an option already of Luis Martínez de Merlo in 1988. The translator does not believe he has betrayed the Florentine poet: "My obsession was that it could be read as a story; Much of the complexity of the comedy comes from its poetic language; by pouring it into rhymed verse you force yourself to a special register, to force the meaning or the syntax; to have translated it into prose would have been to betray it; I believe that this format, maintaining the metric and putting assonances when it has been possible to me, is equivalent to what we understand by poetry ".

As an example of the obligations that the rhyme would impose, Micó cites Crespo's use of "pavura", Word of which" Quevedo already mocked by anachronism and that is what he uses to rhyme when he is paura, which is, by contrast, the simplest Dante uses to say fear" Interestingly, the first Singing of Hell, with his famous start, was the last one that translated: "It is semantically complex and, instead, it is with which the tone of the whole book is marked; the famous 'Nel mezzo of the cammin di nostra vita'Well you can translate it by' To medium ',' In half ',' To the half ',' In the middle '… ". In the end he chose "Halfway through life"

In his desire for clarity, Micó has dispensed with footnotes ("the translation has to solve the doubts by itself"), but, in addition to succinct introductory notes to each song, for the first time in a Spanish edition has added at the end of the book infographics on the Dantesque universe, as well as a chronology of the life and work of Dante and a reasoned index of a hundred pages on characters, works and places cited.

Matte the legend professor that the Comedy it is a dark book, which attributes in large part to "the complexity that the local anecdote brings, the names and characters that he put to avenge his exile to which he threw his political activity" and, on the other hand, he claims a humorous side, marked both by the use of counters (where the characters are punished just with comical punishments that allude to their sin) and by images that border on vulgarity, such as that of Canto XXI of the Hell, which ends with a demon throwing a wind: "and he made his ass a trumpet" That translates into language. "As he was leaving Latin and building a new language that would later become literary Italian, Dante used sophisticated words and neologisms, especially in the Paradise, then theologically very new, even the most pedestrian; that big difference in registration is not even in the Quixote and has forced me to use a language as rich and varied as possible, a Dantesque Spanish ", he defines.

In spite of the fact that the trip to the ultraworld had already been visited by Virgil (Aeneid) and Ovid (The metamorphoses), Micó says that he has translated "the most extraordinary book of European literary culture", which justifies "because of its strange structure with perfect appearance, it is the best closed and planned book of ancient literature: unlike Cervantes, who improvises more, everything is calculated from the trinitarian symbology, of the three and its multiples, especially the nine; Thus, the Hell it's more narrative and the Purgatory is more theological, while in the Paradise not much happens; however, the 14,233 hendecasyllables are distributed almost equally, as the Cantos, all with their 130 to 150 verses. " Then, he marvels at the poetic precision that allows verses like "the virtù mista per lo corpo luce / come letizia per pupilla viva ("the virtue in the star shines/ what joy in the lively pupil"). "Dante explored the human imagination to the limit, drew its contours; that work is the drawer of the imagination of man ", defines very graphically Rossend Arquès, president of the Catalan Society of Dantesque Studies.

Case simpar of the now in vogue autoficción ("I do not see better example of what I could do the literature with the own experience, be it real or invented"), the Comedy is for Micó a book "little read", which explains that he is accused in some areas of homophobic, dogmatic or anti-Mahometan, but we must explain the world and the context in which it was written. And a pedagogical reading in these immoral times: "One will find oneself as a character, surely in the Hell, because the protagonist is like us, but virtue, morality, is individual and can lead you to salvation … ". "It is a huge source of psychological, ethical and political teachings that are very applicable in today's life, for example, when it denounces the corruption of politicians and officials, in chants XXI and XXII of the Hell, or when he criticizes excessive greed and the accumulation of money and material goods as a source of degradation of the human being, "says Juan Ignacio Varela Portas, president of the Complutense Association of Dantology.

Recommended for a 20 year old? "Yes, because he will read poetry and understand what awaits him: the world will give you many slaps and you will be the victim of many injustices, but there is always that possibility of individual salvation, which is both an example for collective salvation and hope for the eternal " And sentence: "Who gets into Dante does not forget it in his life," thinking maybe in himself: he read it, without knowing Italian, at age 17, and typed the comments of the songs; always wanted to compose songs and translate the Comedy. He has done the one (the duo Marta and Micó is now recording his third album) and now also the other, just at 57 years old, the same as Dante had when he died in 1321, shortly after completing the Comedy.

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